First Line IT keeps Purple Consulting online and up-to-date

Book-keeping has come a long way since the days of the quill pen and enormous ledger. HMRC wants everything, from VAT returns to payroll, to be submitted online.

For book-keepers and business advisers Purple Consulting, who manage about 25 different monthly payrolls and the same number of VAT returns, this means that they simply couldn’t operate without an up-to-date, well planned and fully supported IT system.

“IT is our biggest single expenditure,” explained owner Steve Swain. “We entirely depend on being able to run several copies of SAGE, the accounting system, and to communicate electronically with HMRC. We need First Line to make sure that there are no problems with our system, which is why their Help Desk and back-up services are so important to us.”

The back-up services were tested recently when Purple Consulting’s network picked up a virus. Thanks to First Line’s daily back-up, the systems were swiftly restored without any loss of business.

Purple Consulting also use First Line to recommend, purchase, and install all their IT hardware. “We change our equipment fairly frequently as it’s one way that we can stay ahead of our competitors,” said Steve.

“In a business that is based on charging by the hour, we don’t want to be using machines that are running slowly or can’t cope with the latest software. First Line have been keeping pace with us for the past eight years, helping us deliver a smooth service even as we employed more staff and moved out of the home office to a dedicated business premises.”

Steve says that he is frequently approached by other IT support companies keen to have his business but he always turns them down. “First Line are my customers as well as providing my IT support. We have a level of trust and understanding with them that it would be difficult for any other company to match.

“I particularly like the way that everyone is so approachable, even the managers. Lots of companies are hampered by rigid processes but you never feel that with First Line.

“They are very flexible and supportive of all their staff too: you can tell that even if something goes wrong, they don’t cast around looking for someone to blame. They focus on solving the problem and working out what they can learn from it.”