EDI File Support Overview

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) files are business documents such as purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices with standardized formats that allow their information to be easily exchanged between electronic systems.

Ascend accepts EDI files from your suppliers and automatically enters their information into your Workday instance, eliminating manual data entry. You can choose whether to transmit EDI files through AS2 or SFTP.

Transferring EDI Files

Depending on your organization's preferred business process, you can transfer EDI files to Ascend through Applicability Statement 2 (AS2) or Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).


AS2 is the recommended method for transferring EDI files because it is fully encrypted. During onboarding, you provide a partner-signed certificate, and you receive a link to Ascend's AS2 URL that you can share with your suppliers.

With AS2, you're also offered:

  • more control over when an EDI file is processed for payment.
  • an acknowledgment of receipt sent to the EDI file sender.
  • a more secure option for transferring EDI files to Ascend.


This method requires that you give Ascend access to your provider’s SFTP site so our system can retrieve your documents. Files are retrieved every 15 minutes, and you must provide Ascend with the necessary credentials.

Processing EDI Documents

Once Ascend receives an EDI file, the system:

  1. parses the document information.
  2. generates a PDF image of the document.
  3. compares the document’s information with the data in your Workday instance.
  4. automatically enters the document into Workday when all details match, or sends it to your document queue if the details don’t match.

If the Workday data doesn’t match the EDI file, the document created from the file is sent to your EDI Document Group in Ascend. You can edit the document information (such as matched PO lines) and regenerate a PDF image of the file before submitting it to Workday. Ascend AP’s document entry page has an option to regenerate the invoice image for all EDI documents.

Supported File Formats

Ascend accepts the two most common EDI files, X12 and EDIFACT. You can choose either file format during onboarding.

Generating and Regenerating Document Images

Ascend automatically generates a PDF image for each received EDI file during processing. During onboarding, you can choose either the US or international format.

You can regenerate the PDF image of any EDI file on Ascend’s document entry page before submitting it to Workday:

  1. Go to My Invoices.
  2. Click on an invoice's Ascend ID. This opens the document entry page.
  3. Edit the invoice details as needed.
  4. Click the regenerate image icon . This refreshes the page.

The document image will update immediately.

Customizing EDI Files and Mapping

You can customize which information is included in EDI files and how it is mapped to your Workday instance. For example, you can map specific suppliers to an alternate supplier name in Workday. It’s also possible to include discount lines, lines for other charges, and to choose whether taxes are displayed as a line item or a header field.

In certain cases, Ascend supports unique settings and mapping for multiple EDI providers and suppliers. Contact your CSM or onboarding representative for more information about your options.


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