Cloud Accountability Concerns

Cloud Accountability Concerns- Complete Controller.

Cloud computing services for resource accounting establish, host, and manage services rented out to a remote consumer (individual or business). The scope of services ranges from offering basic computational assets like bandwidthstorage, and computational power to sophisticated enterprise applications such as SaaS.

The commonly used business model to charge for these services is a pay-per-use base, where the consumers use resources according to their needs and are then billed for the used resources at the end of a defined period. Idyllically, the consumers should be offered an explicit resource accounting model that can identify all factors considered for calculating the consumption charges.

Giving the consumer access to their resource usage data can help them in IT budget planning, making them aware of billing applications and automating the assortment of services according to their specific needs. Also, it is to the benefit of the cloud service provider to make this data available for consumers as it would help them develop specifically designed user-centric services. Most of the providers already offer their clients their usage data. However, there are concerns regarding accountability.Complete Controller. America’s Bookkeeping Experts

Accountability Concerns

An issue that concerns the resource accounting model for such services is the accountability of the resource usage data. The provider, the consumer, or other trusted third party can measure this data. A combination of these players to measure accountability is also an option; however, just like other traditional utility services such as gas and electricity, provider-side accountability is also the norm in the cloud services industry. But unlike the consumer-trusted metering for conventional utilities, there is no such metric for consumers to measure data usage. Therefore, they have no choice but to accept what the provider offers them.

Consumer Side Proposition

Continuing the above discussion, we propose a customer-centric resource accounting model to resolve the concerns of all parties. A customer-centric accounting model will allow the customer to query for calculating billing charges from the service provider programmatically. They will be obliged to respond to the request. Subsequently, a robust customer-centric accounting model will allow the customer or a trusted third party to independently measure the billing charges of cloud services. This will enable consumers to measure their billing charges, which is only fair. It is proposed that the providers should at least adopt the customer-centric models to perform regular checks and raise alarms when there are apparent contradictions in the consumption data.

Inspecting Consumer Centricity of Resource Accounting Model

Many service providers provide or publish details of their billing information. However, it must be examined if the detailed information is based on a customer-centric notion. We will start with a fundamental example and see if there is room for improvement.

LastPass – Family or Org Password VaultS3 Amazon

We use a simple S3 cloud storage service from Amazon to investigate this notion. It is a fundamental pay-per-use base service. It is marketed as a fast, reliable, and low-cost service. However, upon examination, researchers found a few ambiguities in the model, which cannot be programmatically queried from Amazon. This suggests that even the simplest resource accounting models cannot match the standards of a robust consumer-centric model but are loosely coherent with the weak model.

However, specifically for S3, the uncertainties can be easily fixed internally by paying little attention. However, it is recommended that a 
cloud service provider assemble the third party as a measurement service so that customers can easily access and measure their data usage.

Time Zone

One of the ambiguities was the lack of reference to the time zone upon listing the price concerning geographical location. The start and end days of the billing cycle cannot be determined for sure. However, it can be inferred from the provided Amazon developer’s guide that S3 servers are synchronized to GMT.Download A Free Financial Toolkit

Data and Metadata

Another concern of S3 is regarding the measurement of user data. In addition to its data, the S3 resource accounting model has system and user metadata. System metadata is only used by S3, while user metadata is only used by the consumer and has a maximum size of 2KB. However, Amazon fails to clarify the storage space acquired by data and metadata.


Amazon states that they check the user’s storage space at least twice daily. However, they fail to mention the exact time these checkpoints take place. Upon further investigation, it has been observed that they do not check the cloud storage usage twice daily, and the event randomly takes place anytime in a Zulu time zone.

Therefore, it is concluded that the resource accounting model for the cloud still needs to define specific operation parameters before they become trusted consumer utilities.

ADP. Payroll – HR – BenefitsAbout Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.Cubicle to Cloud virtual business