Why Functional Acknowledgment Reconciliation important for EDI

Please note: This post originally appeared on Extol.com (EXTOL has been acquired by Cleo).

If your company uses Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), reconciling Functional Acknowledgements, or “FAs”, or “997s” is important and often overlooked. Just because the FA is a small document that is automatically generated from your translator, doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.

The FA provides information on problems found with the structure or content of EDI transactions, such as a mandatory segment or element missing, or invalid code. It isn’t just a data receipt. So, FA reconciliation should not just ask the question, “Did I get an FA?” It should also ask whether the document has been validated. There are four validation statuses: A – Accepted; E – Accepted with Errors; P – Partially Accepted (at Least One Transaction was Rejected); and R – Rejected.

Your reconciliation process should be checking for Rejections, at a minimum, but also for Error and Partially Accepted states. Those states may reflect a change in standards or in your partner’s requirements that you haven’t taken into account or may not be aware of. They can also mean that you have provided incomplete or incorrect data. If E, R and/or P statuses are received on a regular basis, it may be time to check your mapping and application data for those transactions.

Ignoring the Error and Rejected statuses may be costly to your company, as those EDI transactions may not be fully processed by your partner.

So, remember the next time you consider the humble FA: reconciliation means more than, “Did I get an FA?”

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