How to manage Microsoft 365 licenses and billing options in the admin center portal

This article is also available in my podcast and Youtube channel.

You can view the Youtube video below.

You can also find a how-to video on how to assign Microsoft 365 licenses to users at the following resource: https://stefanos.cloud/kb/how-to-assign-a-license-to-a-microsoft-365-user-from-the-microsoft-365-admin-center/.

Case

You need to manage all your licensing and billing configuration inside the Microsoft 365 Admin Center portal.

Solution

In this how-to article, we will show you how to manage Microsoft 365 licenses and billing options in the admin center portal. To access the Microsoft 365 admin center portal, browse to https://admin.microsoft.com and login with your global administrator credentials.

Purchase services

From the lest hand pane, expand the billing menu and click on “Purchase services”. You can browse below inside the main pane to find the services available for purchase directly from Microsoft.

You can also choose up to three products to view a detailed comparison. Tick the products you wish to compare and then click on the “Compare” button above.

Your products

This page shows all Microsoft 365 products purchased either directly via Microsoft (retail) or via other licensing channels. You can also view your software benefits, if you have any available via your licensing plans or other entitlements, such as Microsoft Action Pack or an MSDN subscription. If you have purchased additional products from other licensing channels (for example the CSP channel), you will see your products listed here.

If you click on a subscription name, you will be able to assign licenses, cancel the subscription, view the product details and upgrades, view any available add-ons, show the history list of changes made to that subscription as well as download and install related software, for example the Office 365 apps.

Licenses

On the licenses page, you have three tabs available, namely the Subscriptions, Requests and Auto-claim policy tabs.

Subscriptions

On the subscriptions page, you can view all Microsoft 365 subscriptions ande export a list of all available subscriptions into a csv file, by clicking on the “Export” button. Each subscription corresponds to a different Microsoft 365 license type.
If you click on any subscription name, you will be taken to the subscription’s page where you can view all user license allocations in that subscription. From the subscription page, you can assign licenses, export license-assigned users or search for specific user names.
Remember that group-based licenses can only be managed in the Azure AD portal.

Requests

Any requests, (self-service license requests), which are made from members of your organization for license assignments, are shown on the “requests” page. This only applies to self-service purchased products. If you disable self-service purchases in your organization, you can use licenses requests to manage the license request process for your users. When a user tries to make a self-service purchase for a product that you’ve blocked, they can submit a request for a license to you, the admin. When they make a request, they can add the names of other users who also need licenses for the product. To see and manage license requests, admin uses the Requests tab on the Licensing page. The list shows the name of the product that is requested, name of the person requesting a license, date requested, and status of the request. Admins can filter the list to show requests that are pending or completed. Requests are held for 30 days.

Or, if your organization already has a request process, you can use it instead. In this case, you can provide instructions for your request process in a message to your users and a link to documentation. When a user requests a product, they’ll see your message and link so they can use your process. When you have provided the message to users and a link to the documentation, click Save.

Auto-claim policy

Auto-claim policies save you and your users time by allowing them to claim a product license the first time they sign in to an app. Set which app a person uses to claim a license, and which product the license will come from. Currently, Microsoft Teams is the only app supported by auto-claim policy. Select Turn on setting so you can create an auto-claim policy. By turning on this setting, you allow users to auto-claim licenses the first time they sign in.

Bills and payments

The “Bills and payments” page offer the following three tabs, invoices, payment methods and billing profile.

Invoices

Invoices provide a summary of your charges and instructions to make payments. Some are generated within 24 hours of buying an individual item, others are generated at the end of the billing period and include all items from that billing period.

Payment methods

These payment methods pay for subscriptions or are associated with billing profiles. You can click the “Add a payment method” button to add a new payment method. You should provide a card number, security code, expiration month and year, first and last name, name on card as well as your address lines and click Save.

Billing profiles

Billing profiles include a payment method, contact info, and other invoice settings. When you buy products, you pick a billing profile to cover the purchase. For each billing profile, you’ll receive a monthly invoice that includes all purchases made with that billing profile.

Billing accounts

Billing accounts manage your purchasing relationship with Microsoft. Each billing account contains defining info about your organization, like addresses, contact info, and any tax info that applies. Purchases made with your billing account are covered by the agreement that you signed with Microsoft.


Click on a billing account to view or edit the billing information, address and TaxID.

Payment methods

This is the same menu as the tab available inside the “Bills and payments” page. It allows you to add, remove or edit a payment method.

Billing notifications

Microsoft sends billing notification emails to share important information with your organization. These emails include information about changes to your subscriptions and usually include an action to keep your subscriptions active and your account in good standing. You can click on “Edit notification settings” to change your billing notification settings and click Save.
You can also view the organization contact receiving billing notifications. The notification contact receives billing notifications in case the organization users are not assigned with functional email addresses. From this page you can also change the billing admins group members, the global admin group members and assign of these roles by adding a new account.

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