Importance of 997's -

Functional Acknowledgement in EDI

EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgment Service - Commport Communications

What is an EDI 997 - Functional Acknowledgment (FA)

The EDI 997 is also known as EDIFACT CONTROL and x12 997 Functional Acknowledgement serves as a receipt from the receiving trading partner in response to a transaction sent by the sending trading partner. This document also reports any formatting errors or loss of data. It can be sent by any trading partner in response to an individual EDI message or a group of messages.

It is important to note that when an EDI 997 is sent, it is only a notification to the sender that the original transaction arrived and was processed. It is not a confirmation of a transaction, it does not give any indication that the receiving trading partner agreed to the contents of the original translation.

Many may not know how important the EDI 997 FA document is and how important this very small EDI transaction set can be to your EDI operations. The 997 is less than one Kilo character in size, yet the value it provides is massive in the EDI world. Although it is an optional document, its benefits are crucial to staying on top of your internal business processes.

How Is A EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement Used?

The FA provides information on problems found with the structure or content of your EDI transactions, such as a mandatory segment or element missing, or invalid code. It isn’t just a data receipt. Functional acknowledgement reconciliation should ask whether the document has been validated. There are four validation statuses:

997 FA

A - Accepted 

E - Accepted with Errors

P – Partially Accepted (at Least One Transaction was Rejected)

R – Rejected.

Your reconciliation process should be checking for Rejections, at a minimum, but also for Error and Partially Accepted states. The states may reflect a change in standards or in your partner’s requirements that you haven’t been made aware of. They can also mean that you have provided incomplete or incorrect data. Ignoring the Error and Rejected statuses may be costly to your company, as those EDI transactions may not be fully processed by your partner leaving you with unpaid invoices and a growing number of aged accounts receivable accounts.

Benefits of Using the EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement for Your Business

  • Acknowledgment of document arrival/reception
  • Ample time to investigate possible system issues
  • Time and money saved due to improved order accuracy
  • Early identification of potential problems so they can be resolved

Translating the EDI 997

Once an EDI 997 has been received, the first step is the translation of the document. An EDI 997, like any EDI document, is not meant to be read by a human operator. In the translation process, the EDI 997 will be converted into one of two forms. One of which is the "human readable" format that is usually in the form of a report that is either printed or more likely placed into a file format that is easily imported into an accounting or ERP system. Translating the EDI 997 into an easily integrated format is the first main step in receiving the document before it can be used by the intended recipient.

6 Key data elements included in the EDI 997 Functional Acknowledgement 

AK1 – Group Acknowledgment (Refers to GS segment)

AK3 – Reports Errors in a specific segment

01: Segment in Error
02: Line in error from ST

AK4 – Reports Errors in specific element

01: Lists the Element in error
02: Lists the ID in EDI dictionary of the element
03: Code giving a general reason for the error 04: Shows the bad data

  • 1: Mandatory data element missing
  • 2: Conditional data element missing
  • 3: Too many data elements
  • 4: Data element too short
  • 5: Data element too long
  • 6: Invalid character in data element
  • 7: Invalid code value
  • 8: Invalid date
  • 9: Invalid time
  • 10: Exclusion condition violated

AK9 – Group Response

  • Additional dates (such as cancel by dates



AK2 – Document Acknowledgment (Refers to ST segment)

AK5 – Type of acknowledgment

01: Lists the Acknowledgment Status

  • A: Accepted
  • E: Accepted with Errors noted
  • M: Rejected; message authentication
  • P: Partially accepted
  • R: Rejected
  • W: Rejected
  • X: Rejected

02: Transaction set syntax Error Code

  • 1: Transaction set not supported
  • 2: Transaction set trailer missing
  • 3: Transaction control #’s don’t match
  • 4: Number of segments don’t match count
  • 5: One or more segments in error
  • 6: Missing transaction set identifier
  • 7: Missing or invalid transaction set control #
  • 16: Syntax Error
  • 23: Transaction set control # not unique

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