Confirmation / Acknowledgement Letter

A. Acknowledgement Letter


When you have received goods, services, money, information or business, you may wish to acknowledge such receipt by mail or by e-mail to the sender as a matter of courtesy through an acknowledgement letter. Such acknowledgment not only serves as a confirmation of receipt, but can also double as a thank you note for the goods, services, payment or business.


What is an acknowledgement letter?


An acknowledgement letter is a receipt in the form of a formal letter confirming receipt of the document or shipment. They are usually short and are mainly used to confirm certain documents or goods received legally on a particular date.


Acknowledgement letters are especially important for the delivery of documents or goods where time is of the essence. For example, if there is a deadline to submit a tender, or acknowledgement of receiving a resignation letter to start the notice period.  Acknowledgment letters confirming receipt of goods are also helpful in avoiding future disputes in relation to shipment and delivery. An acknowledgement letter is an important proof that the documents and goods were delivered on time to discharge any contractual obligations of a party. 



B. Confirmation


A confirmation is a document sent to another party to confirm or verify certain facts. In some businesses, it is routine for confirmation to be sent (such as travel agencies or hotels to confirm the booking names and dates). Such confirmations are usually made by e-mail or by telephone. In addition, it is also useful to send a confirmation to other parties after an agreement or understanding has been made.


Difference between a Confirmation and an Acknowledgement Letter


A confirmation is similar to an acknowledgement letter but there is a slight difference in meaning. Confirmation is to actively verify the accuracy of the information stated. One would expect a response from the receiver (in particular if the information is not correct). An acknowledgment letter is the recognition or acceptance of something. It would not be necessary to give a response upon receipt of an acknowledgement letter.  


Upon agreement on the terms of a contract or fulfillment of certain contractual conditions, you may wish to send a confirmation of discussion or follow up message to the other party. It is also useful in referring to a previous meeting or telephone conversation with someone, in which case the confirmation letter confirms the facts that have been agreed or discussed and provides advice on future actions for both parties.



C. How to draft a Confirmation / an Acknowledgement Letter


It is essential for such confirmation to transmit clear, concise and accurate information to ensure that the other party is not confused by such information. A well-drafted letter can help you build good trust and cooperation with business partners.


The usual structure of a confirmation / an acknowledgement letter is as follow:

  • Letterhead - include your name and address.

  • Date - include a date, which is especially important if there is an obligation to meet a certain deadline.

  • Addressee - be clear who you are addressing the letter to.

  • Subject - simply state that it is a confirmation / acknowledgement of a subject matter. 

  • Body - can be a very simple sentence acknowledging the receipt of something in relation to an acknowledgement letter. If the goods / documents are damaged or something is missing, be sure to mention it. For confirmation, you should state in clear and concise terms the information that you would like the other party to confirm.

  • Final paragraph - take the opportunity to thank the addressee for the delivery / confirmation.



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