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  1. #1
    ncat is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default How do you track electronic paperwork?

    Back when everything was paper and my desk and filing cabinet was in our living room, I had this all figured out.

    Now, all my paystubs and many other bills and statements are electronic. I thought I was OK, but now I am dealing with a mess from my previous job (which probably should be a bitching post) and I realize that I have no idea how to access old pay statements, etc., and when I do manage to save things to my computer or online storage I don't have a great "filing" system.

    Backstory (the mess) - a few weeks ago I received a letter from my former employer indicating that they had made a mistake on 401K record keeping sometime in 2018 which they had recently discovered through an audit. There was money in my 401K - which I rolled over last fall - that they claim should not have been there and they are asking for a check. I made a bunch of phone calls and got more details. It appears that the only record of the contribution election that they have is for a smaller amount than was withheld from my paychecks and contributed to my 401K. I am 100% sure that the amount actually withheld is correct, but have no records of my own. If I can't prove this, I may lose some of my 401K savings and have to deal with amending tax returns and potential penalties. It isn't a lot of money but it is going to take a lot of effort to untangle.
    ncat
    mama to DD 12/04, DS1 11/08, and DS2 7/13

  2. #2
    jgenie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I’ve just started tackling this. I still receive paper copies of everything but am slowly moving to digital. In my documents folder I have a folder for each year. Within each year I have a folder for each account. 2017 - Taxes, Health (self, DH, DC1, DC2), Investments (Firm, Firm, Firm), Banking (Bank 1, Bank 2) Insurance (Vehicle, House), Credit cards (Card 1, Card 2). It’s a bit detailed but it keeps each year from looking like a jumbled mess.
    for Carmen

  3. #3
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    Gosh sound such a super stressful dilemma!

    Could you call the admin of the 401k plans and see if you could get statements. Not from your former employer but the management that managed the funds is your best contact of person.

    As for digital filing. Evernote is my best friend. We scan and date them by year, month depending what it is weíre scanning. Tagging is a must to make documents searchable. We went from 4 half filing cabinets to just one where itís hard copies of our tax returns (7 years we only keep) original documents like births, marriages, active applications, vaccine documents. So freeing!


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    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  4. #4
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualvansMommy View Post
    ...

    Could you call the admin of the 401k plans and see if you could get statements. Not from your former employer but the management that managed the funds is your best contact of person.

    ...


    I think this is the most efficient way to get your records; the management company will have it for sure.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  5. #5
    3isEnough is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgenie View Post
    I’ve just started tackling this. I still receive paper copies of everything but am slowly moving to digital. In my documents folder I have a folder for each year. Within each year I have a folder for each account. 2017 - Taxes, Health (self, DH, DC1, DC2), Investments (Firm, Firm, Firm), Banking (Bank 1, Bank 2) Insurance (Vehicle, House), Credit cards (Card 1, Card 2). It’s a bit detailed but it keeps each year from looking like a jumbled mess.
    My electronic filing system is similar but the top level of folders isn’t divided by date but rather type. For example, I have <Financial> folder, and within that <Credit Cards>, then <Wells Fargo>, <Chase>, <Amex> folders, then within each of those folders I have 2021, 2020, etc. This works really well and I can quickly find any document I need. I receive all of my statements electronically and download and file them right away.

  6. #6
    ncat is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzywednesday View Post


    I think this is the most efficient way to get your records; the management company will have it for sure.
    I've called both the management company and my former company. I have some records from the management company, but I think the issue is that they lost key records, then did an audit on the basis of bad information. I tried to find my paystubs as well as the records from the previous 401K management company (problem happened around the time of a migration to a new plan) to get the full picture and realized that my record keeping isn't good either. Keep the organization ideas coming!

    My PSA from this experience is that if you make a change in your 401k elections, document that for your records and retain it indefinitely. Because even if it looks like everything is withheld as intended, someone can create problems for you years later.
    ncat
    mama to DD 12/04, DS1 11/08, and DS2 7/13

  7. #7
    mmsmom is online now Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    I’m finding this interesting because I don’t keep any statements or copies of electronic files. I thought the whole point was being able to logon to bank, credit card, electric company, etc site and get statements/bills if needed. I consider myself very organized and have copies and paper files of certain things but I don’t keep electronic copies of anything that is accessible electronically. When I left last job I had access to electronic pay site for a certain amount of time after and I did download pay stubs, W-2’s, etc. but o lot because I would not have access to the site in the future.

  8. #8
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmsmom View Post
    Iím finding this interesting because I donít keep any statements or copies of electronic files. I thought the whole point was being able to logon to bank, credit card, electric company, etc site and get statements/bills if needed. I consider myself very organized and have copies and paper files of certain things but I donít keep electronic copies of anything that is accessible electronically. When I left last job I had access to electronic pay site for a certain amount of time after and I did download pay stubs, W-2ís, etc. but o lot because I would not have access to the site in the future.
    What if the company goes under/ is sold/ somehow goes away in a way that you can no longer easily log in?


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  9. #9
    o_mom is online now Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Not an answer to the filing question, but aren't 401k contributions listed on your W-2s? I am pretty certain that ours list them, but I am not in a place I can check right now.

  10. #10
    ncat is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post
    Not an answer to the filing question, but aren't 401k contributions listed on your W-2s? I am pretty certain that ours list them, but I am not in a place I can check right now.
    They are, but just the total over the year, not the amount from each pay period.
    ncat
    mama to DD 12/04, DS1 11/08, and DS2 7/13

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