When a driver in Canada needs to have their automobile serviced, there is a decent chance they’ll end up at one of the many Mr. Lube franchise locations throughout British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.

Sometimes, the better a business does, the more challenges it faces regarding its back-office processes. That was the case for August Corporate Partners, whose portfolio company Everest Services Centre Inc currently owns and operates 14 Mr. Lube locations.

Jesusa Agustin, Manager of Finance and Administration for Mr. Lube, has been with the portfolio of August Corporate Partners for nearly ten years. She spoke with us about the challenges that led them to automate accounts payable and the ways it has transformed their team and processes.


August Corporate Partners is an investment and management firm. The firm offers investments support, strategic planning, management support, equity financing, negotiating and closing acquisitions services. August’s area of expertise covers many industries, divisions and positions. One aspect of their business includes a number of franchise outlets of Mr. Lube, a popular automotive service centre.

More Locations, More Challenges

By 2018, the company had grown and acquired more stores, which increased the number of invoices they received from various locations, putting significant stress on their finance team’s existing processes.

“As we grew, we struggled to handle the volume. We had to hire more people just to do the data entry,” Agustin said.

It wasn’t just the cost of additional employees that burdened the company. Even with more people to share in the work, each member of the team was putting in daily overtime, week in and week out. Agustin estimated there were weeks – especially around month-end – when multiple team members would spend 3-4 hours of overtime each day to get as many invoices into the system as possible.

In 2018, August Corporate Partners and The Answer Company sought out the best automation solution to reverse the trend toward increased staffing and long hours.

Choosing The Right Solution

August Corporate Partners worked with The Answer Company to identify the best accounts payable automation solution, knowing it would have to merge seamlessly with their ERP, Sage 300.

“We attended a Sage conference in Vancouver and saw the presentations on automation,” said Agustin. “Then we collected information about three potential solutions and presented them to our CFO, who decided to pursue Quadient AP.”

From there The Answer Company set up the appropriate meetings and demos, where the controller and CFO were able to see the full capabilities and potential impact of the solution.

August Corporate partners decided to implement Quadient AP’s invoice and payments modules with a multi-entity setup that has all invoices flowing into one screen where a single AP team manages all of them.

Life With Quadient AP

Before automating AP, August Corporate Partners found themselves staffing up and still falling behind. It wasn’t really sustainable. Rising to 14 Mr. Lube franchise locations created more invoices than the team could process in a standard workday.

“Before automating accounts payable, we were almost two weeks behind on processing,” said Agustin. “Now, our process for AP is really smooth. With the help of automation, those invoices basically process overnight, and we just check it and sign off. It takes 2-3 hours.”

The finance team responsible for the 14 Mr. Lube locations consists of five employees. That includes their controller, who does not need to be involved in the day-to-day AP tasks with the automated process.

Prior to implementing Quadient AP, the finance team had to add additional employees who also had to work regular overtime hours to handle the volume of data entry. Now, just two people are able to efficiently manage the entire accounts payable workflow. And because they can process so many more invoices in much less time, they have been able to spend more time reconciling and working with their vendors to ensure they maintain a good working relationship.

  • 16 Hours

    Overtime Saved Per Day

  • 81%

    Reduction in time to process AP

Greater Accessibility Makes for Easier Audits

In addition to the increased efficiency and reduced labor costs associated with data entry and invoice processing, August Corporate Partners has also found value in the accessibility of the cloud.

With manual, paper-based accounting processes, organizations are required to file all physical documents and store them for seven years, for tax purposes. That means when the organization faces audits, the finance team has to locate actual physical invoices and supporting materials and send them as requested.

That process can be tedious and time-consuming, which can further delay a team that is trying to manage all their regular responsibilities.

In their automated process, however, all documents are soft, cloud-based copies, making it quick and easy to transmit invoices to the auditors. Agustin and her team are able to create reports of all the invoices they want to see and send them over while hardly breaking stride on their main duties and responsibilities.

August Corporate Partners’ automation journey started as a search for a tool that would reduce the cost of processing and the burden it placed on their finance team. While it has done that, it has also become a critical process improvement that can be felt throughout the organization – from measurable results like cost and time saved to more intangible results like a boost in employee morale and additional opportunities for career advancement.

For a closer look at what accounts payable automation can mean for your company, sign up for a personalised demo and our team of experts can walk you through your options.