If you've ever looked at a French payslip, you'll be familiar with the headaches. Endless rows and columns of numbers, proving an enigma for most workers in France, French and foreign alike.
The “bulletin de paie”, as French payslips are called, are complex, due to the the sheer number of laws and agreements in France that shape the relationship between employers and employees.
But this could be set to change, according to Firmin Zocchetto, the CEO of Payfit, a company that's just raised half a million euros in funding.
“It's a nightmare for small and medium-sized businesses in France to run their own payrolls, it's incredibly complex,” he told The Local.
“When you ask small businesses running their own payrolls, 99 percent will tell you that it's horrible and complicated. And we wanted to do the impossible and try and solve it.”
Thanks to a team of “software engineer geeks” and payroll experts, the team at Payfit claims to have “reinvented everything” and built a whole new programme for companies to run their payslips automatically at two to four times cheaper than their competitors' prices.
All it takes is an interview with Payfit, and no need for inputting lots of data like with other software.
“It's a whole lot less risky due to payroll automation, meaning there's no chance of human error – and it's more fun,” Zocchetto said.
The product is currently in Beta version, aiming for a full launch in April this year. And it couldn't come soon enough, according to Zocchetto.
“People are very excited, there's a real need for this and people have been waiting for something like this a long time,” he said.
Few would disagree.
The French pay slip can stretch to forty lines of text and lists numerous specific deductions and figures that just look like gobbledygook at first glance.
There are “coefficient” and “Siret” numbers, mentions of “convention collectifs”, figures for “cumul brut” and “cumul imposable”… indeed, there are figures all over the place.
Then there's the list of the all the “social charges” that are deducted from your salary, such as for “Assurance Chomage Tranche A” and “Assurance Chomage Tranche B”.
While it might be a good idea to see exactly where your hard-earned money is going, you're not quite sure in which pot it is going, and you get the impression you’ll have nothing left by the time you reach the “Net a Payer” section in the bottom right corner.
A recent study by a multinational firm found that that the average payslip in France was 40 lines long. In Germany it was 15 lines long, compared to 14 in the US and 11 in China.
A government report in July last year concluded that the country needs to simplify the system, which it intends to do over the next few years.