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What Is Functional Acknowledgement (FA)? | Speed Commerce

What Is Functional Acknowledgement (FA)?

3PL Glossary > Functional Acknowledgement (FA)

What Is Functional Acknowledgement (FA)?

A Functional Acknowledgement (FA) is a standard electronic message used in the realm of electronic data interchange (EDI) to confirm the receipt and successful processing of a transactional document. It serves as a response or acknowledgment from the receiving party, confirming that the original document or message was received and has been processed in accordance with the agreed-upon standards. FAs play a vital role in ensuring the reliability and integrity of electronic communication between trading partners, particularly in business and supply chain processes.

What Are the Specifications of Functional Acknowledgements?

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In the context of EDI, when one business sends an electronic document, such as a purchase order or an invoice, to another business, the receiving party generates a Functional Acknowledgement in response. This acknowledgment typically includes information indicating the status of the received document, confirming whether it was accepted, rejected, or if errors were detected. The FA serves as a mechanism to inform the sender that their document was successfully received and that the data contained within it was validated according to the predefined standards.

The use of Functional Acknowledgements helps improve communication efficiency and reliability in electronic transactions, as it allows businesses to promptly identify and address any issues that may arise during the exchange of electronic documents. This ensures that both trading partners have a clear understanding of the status of their transactions, enabling smoother and more reliable business processes.


No. An FA is not a transactional document, like that of a purchase order or invoice. It is a response or acknowledgment generated by the receiving party to confirm the successful receipt and processing of a transactional document. FAs serve to validate and acknowledge the integrity of the data exchange process.

It depends on the trading partners and the EDI standards they follow. While FAs are commonly used for reliability and error handling, their inclusion may be optional in some EDI implementations. However, many industries and trading partners require FAs to ensure the integrity of electronic transactions.

It depends on the level of detail specified in the EDI standards. Some FAs provide acknowledgment at the transaction set level, confirming the overall acceptance or rejection of the entire document. Others may offer granularity by indicating acceptance or rejection at the data element or segment level.

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