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Dec 28, 2023

In this episode of the podcast, host and Universal Accounting Center president Roger Knecht engages in a dynamic conversation with Marie Speakman, a Chartered Accountant and Artificial Intelligence consultant known as the “AI Automation Lady.” Together, they dive deep into the world of automation as it relates to accounting, including how to use AI as a “trainee,” how to use it to help represent data, and how to prioritize the client experience.

Your Host: Roger Knecht, president of Universal Accounting Center

Guest Name: Marie Speakman, CA

After selling her accounting practice in 2009, Marie focused on helping companies enhance their operations and finance procedures.  In 2020, she was introduced to an AI company. Marie’s goal now is to provide insights, demystify AI, and support you every step of the way.

When Marie is not working, she loves embracing the vibrant Andalucian lifestyle, hiking in the mountains, strolling along sandy beaches, and discovering new wonders around the world. Her next destination and adventure is Japan!


Roger and Marie discuss her decision to sell her accounting business in 2009 and focus on helping companies enhance their operations and financial procedures. Beginning in 2020, she took special interest in the impact AI could have on tax and bookkeeping businesses.

Marie recounts her earlier career experience working as a financial controller at a software company, traveling across Europe and working with great colleagues. This furthered Marie’s passion for tech, and was her first taste of remote working.

Roger and Marie discuss a debt collection program Marie helped develop that has been implemented in governments in the United Kingdom.

As it became clear bookkeeping was a great candidate for AI optimization, Marie saw the potential to train bots to reconcile and complete compliance tasks.

Marie highlights Robotic Process Automation, the simplest form of AI, which is like training a trainee to complete certain tasks mapped out for them in their code.

Marie emphasizes the importance of the client’s security when using AI as a tool for analyzing data for advisors.

Marie walks Roger through the typical way an artificial intelligence company would meet with an accounting business owner and present the uses AI could have at the firm.

Roger and Marie discuss the impacts AI will have on the accounting industry, including help to fill the current hiring shortage that is a challenge for many accounting firms.

Notable Quotes from this episode:

“When I was in practice, I did struggle to be honest. I was forever trying to meet deadlines, you know, there's like peaks and troughs in the actual workload and I was thinking, ‘[AI] is great this could be really great for accountants to apply.”

“Anything that you could train a trainee to do, then you can train a bot to do that and it can do the work for you.”

“When I started off, I was like, ‘I want to be the advisor.’ When I was a management accountant, and I've got all these skills, and I want to go out, and I want to advise these companies, but you get bogged down in the day to day and the compliance work and you are forever trying to meet deadlines. And now I think we've got a massive opportunity.”

“Whether it be the AI or offshore accounting, it's basically a non -client facing interaction that we're talking about here. So I think that's a very good thing.”

Join Roger and Marie in this thought-provoking discussion as they highlight the untapped potential accountants possess to use AI as a tool for their firm. Discover practical uses for AI at your company, how to work with companies to integrate bots, and which services (including ChatGPT) to avoid. If you're considering tools to make your firm more profitable, or develop more marketable skills , this episode is packed with valuable insights.



Universal Accounting Center

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Marie is offering a AI Insights Session: Uncover Custom Solutions for Your Business"


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