How to add/remove Google Cloud Billing account users

Allie Hajian
  • Updated

This article walks through adding or removing users to the Cloud Billing account on Google Cloud console, so that team members who need to create their own Terra Billing projects or view detailed cost breakdowns can do so, and colleagues who are no longer in the group cannot. 

What can Google Cloud Billing account users do?

It's not necessary to be a user on the Cloud Billing account to work in Terra!Cloud Billing account users have additional permissions in Terra (see below) and are typically admins or funding managers. 

Create Terra billing projects 

If you have access to a Cloud Billing account, you will be able to create Terra Billing projects in your Billing page (https://app.terra.bio/#billing). 

Screenshot of Terra Billing page with Create button highlighted and Billing projects 'Owned by You' circled

Enable spend reporting

Spend reporting can be a helpful tool for tracking costs in your Terra billing project. To enable spend reporting in Terra, you must be an admin or owner on the Cloud Billing account. This step only needs to be done once per Cloud Billing account, so it's not a reason to grant permission to more team members than is necessary. 

To learn more about spend reporting, see our article How to set up spend reporting in Terra.

Considerations for adding users to a Google Cloud Billing account

Advantages of adding collaborators to a Google Cloud Billing account

This approach shares responsibility for billing and gives additional users (beyond the PI, for example) more control over billing and costs, particularly creating separate Terra Billing projects to manage funding.

Disadvantages of adding collaborators to a Google Cloud Billing account

Billing account users have more control; therefore, the process of removing them can be a bit more involved. For example, you may need to transfer ownership or remove or disable all their Terra billing projects if they leave the team. You may not be familiar with the workspaces created under their Terra billing projects, but they will show up on your list of projects under your Google Cloud Billing account (found under the Account Management section for your Billing account).

Add users to a Google Cloud Billing account (step by step)

1. Go to Google Cloud Billing (https://console.cloud.google.com/billing) and click the link for the Cloud Billing account under the My Billing Accounts tab.

2. In the left-side panel, select Account Management (the gear icon). 

3. Select the Add Principal button on the right.

Screenshot of Google Cloud Account management screen for 'JAC billing' on Google console with Add principal button on right circled.

4. In the popup form, add your colleague's Terra ID in the Add principals field.

5. Assign their role to choose how much access they have. They need at least Billing Account User level permission in order to create billing projects in Terra.

Screenshot of 'Grant access' popup on Google console with 'New principals' field highlighted (step 4) and 'Assign role' dropdown expanded. The roles dropdown includes Billing account administrator and Billing Account User (step 5).

6. Click the blue Save button.

What to expect

Creating Terra Billing projects

Once on the Cloud Billing account, your colleague can create billing projects in Terra by going to Billing from the main navigation menu.
Screenshot of the menu used to navigate to the Billing page on Terra. An orange rectangle highlights the button at the top left of any Terra sceen with 3 parallel lines, which expands into the main menu. Another orange rectangle highlights the 'Billing' option which becomes visible after clicking on your name.

Then, click on the Create button.
Screenshot of Terra Billing page with arrow pointing to the 'Create' button and billing projects owned by you highlighted

Access to Billing information on Google Cloud console

Those with admin or owner permission on the Cloud Billing account can also access information like billing reports and cost breakdowns. See Terra expenses and breaking down a Google bill for more details.

Removing users from a Google Cloud Billing account

When to remove someone from your Cloud Billing account

When you no longer want someone to create billing projects or access billing reports and cost breakdowns on Google Cloud, you must remove them from the Billing account on Google Cloud.

How to quickly control spendYou can remove the Google Cloud Billing account on any Terra billing projects created by the former user, if you have Owner permission for their billing projects. You can also disable billing for their workspace projects in Google Cloud console.

To learn more, see Best practices for managing shared funding.

1. Start at Billing on the Google Cloud console (https://console.cloud.google.com/billing).

2. Select the Billing account from the list. 

3. Select Manage (at the top-right) beside "Billing account").
Screenshot of Billing page for Google Cloud account 'JAC-Billing' with arrow pointing to 'Billing account: Manage' link in right hand column

4. Expand the principal role (i.e., Billing Account User) and select the pencil (edit icon) beside the user to remove, then follow the instructions.
Screenshot of Account management page on Google cloud console with 'Billing Account User' section (at right) expanded and pencil icon next to user acliffe@broadinstitute.org circled.

What to expect

Once you complete these steps, the removed users cannot create new projects in Terra funded by the Google Cloud Billing account or view cost reports or breakdowns on Google Cloud console. 

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