Cost sources

There are a several ways to generate expense lines for objects in the system.

These are generally classified as one of three types:
  • CI costs
  • Task costs
  • Custom generated costs - these are not covered in the demo data, refer to the ExpenseLine API for more information.

CI Costs

CI Rate Cards

A CI rate card is a template that defines costs for a particular type of CI. This example uses only server-related costs. Since there are only a few different server models and the costs are the same for each model, CI rate cards can define a template of costs for each model.

Following is the Sun E20K Servers NY rate card:
Figure 1. Cost Demo CI Rate card

It represents the common costs and CIs in the UNIX servers in the NY datacenter, regardless of what the server is used for.

The related lists contain information on how this rate card is used. The Configuration Items related list display the each of the servers that will use this rate card. This list of items can be managed manually with the Edit button or with the Update CI List related link. The rate card condition for this rate card is Table=Unix Server. Clicking the Update CI List related link shows two things:
  • CIs that are a member of the rate card but do not match the condition.
  • CIs that match the condition but are not a member of the rate card.
To "true-up" the rate card, use the Replace or Merge button.
Figure 2. Cost Demo update CI rate card
In this case, there are two extra UNIX servers that are not in the rate card. Use the Merge button to add them. The rate card now shows nine items.
Note: Counts may vary if there are additional CIs in the instance.

The Rate Card Costs related list displays the recurring costs that all of the servers will incur, in this case on a monthly basis.

Adding the Expense Line related list to the CI Rate Card form shows the list of expense lines that have been generated from this rate card's costs. Here are the expenses for the Server backup services for two of the servers:
Figure 3. Cost Demo CI Rate Card

Distribution Costs

For more generic bulk costs that are generated by multiple CIs, distribution costs can represent the broader costs where individual CI rate cards do not apply. Navigate to Financial Management > Distribution Costs to view a few examples.

Select Datacenter Facilities (amort) from the list:
Figure 4. Cost Demo distribution cost

In this example, the datacenter's power costs for a month have been amortized and represented as a monthly recurring distribution cost.

This bulk cost should be distributed to all servers evenly to enable reporting on costs per server and cost center. This is accomplished with the Distribution Rule listed on the cost's form. To view the distribution cost, click the reference icon for the All Installed Servers rule in the Distribution rule field:
Figure 5. Cost Demo Distribution cost rule

This rule takes the $5,500 and distributes it to each of the servers that match the rule condition. The condition here is All servers with install status of installed. The '"View Condition Results related link displays the current records matching the condition.

Task Costs

Task-related activity can also generate expense lines to track the costs associated with processing tasks. The primary method of generating task-related costs is to use Task Rate Cards.

Task Rate Cards

A task rate card is a condition-based record that the system uses to determine how to calculate the costs of a task.

To view an example, navigate to Financial Management > Task Rate Card and select Incident P1:
Figure 6. Cost Demo Incident rate card
Rate cards are processed whenever a task is closed. This processing is triggered by a business rule. The rate card contains the following information:
  • When an incident with priority 1 - Critical is closed, it generates an expense line for $150.
  • This is a flat rate defined for each P1 incident.

The Expense Line related list displays the list of expenses that have been created by this rate card.

Return to the Task Rate Card list and open the Change Request (emergency) rate card:
Figure 7. Cost Demo Change Request
This rate card for emergency change requests demonstrates an example of creating a task cost based on the amount of time it took to work the task, instead of the flat rate model in the incident rate card.
  • The Use time worked flag in the rate card tells the system to use the task time worked records associated with the task when determining the task cost.
  • Processing this rate will:
    • Query the list of task time worked records for the task.
    • Attempt to resolve an hourly rate for the user in the task time worked record, or use the default rate of $250/hr defined in the rate card.
    • Generate an expense line for each time worked entry.

The Expense Lines related list shows the expenses generated from this rate card.

Labor Rate Cards

Labor rate cards are a way to define common patterns for hourly worker rates so rates don't need to be managed for each individual in the system.

To view the sample rates, navigate to Financial Management > Labor Rate Cards and select the Development rate card:
Figure 8. Cost Demo Development Labor Rate

The conditions state that for users in the Development department, time worked costs will use $100 as the hourly rate.