A West Midlands PR agency is having its IT problems solved "remotely" online by city accountants Pilley & Florsham.

Newsline Press & Public Relations in Coventry has been able to dispense with expensive call-out charges in favour of this new charge-by-the-minute online service offered by the Warwick Road firm of chartered certified accountants.

Newsline director Sarah Robinson said: "Our IT bills used to be substantial but Pilleys has launched this new service which is absolutely fantastic.

"Now, instead of having to wait days for an IT man to call, and then have to pay for expensive call-out charges, our accountants can do it on-line for a fraction of the cost."

Nick Ballard, who heads Pilleys' own IT department, runs the new service.

"We just telephone Nick with our problem and then sit back in front of our screens and watch the mouse moving about as he solves it," said Miss Robinson.

Laurence Moore, a partner at Pilleys, said: "Clients were seeking help from us about IT matters and Nick was constantly being asked to help clients who were having problems with their computers, networks and configurations.

"It is because of this demand that we decided to form this new service.

"As computers are now an essential part of bookkeeping and accounts, it is a logical progression for us to provide IT support as part of our package," he said.

He said the new service team could not only help clients choose and install their computer systems - and even write their software programs - but also offer remote support.

"If someone has a problem with the network or computer we simply take over their computer remotely and fix it while they sit there.

"Instead of incurring the expense of having someone go out and take a look, we remotely link in and take control of their computer - without ever having to leave our office."

The time is charged out by the minute and costs a lot less than if an engineer had to visit the client's office.

The link in also enables Pilleys accounts staff to enter a client's computer to solve accounts issues, such as, for example, questions about Sage software.