When financial advisors save time, they save money. And that also means they’ll have more time to serve clients.

That’s the assertion of Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist, a fintech firm, consultant and custodian for financial firms based in Culver City, Calif. Wenk started his career as an engineer, which shaped his philosophy of time management, he said.

“Every firm that wants to improve operations should start by taking an audit of how the firm’s time was spent over the last three months and eliminate those things that are unimportant to clients,” Wenk said, adding that this time evaluation should be repeated regularly.

Firms that are just starting out and early in their journey are in the best position to measure how they spend time because they haven’t developed bad habits yet, he said. Meanwhile, firms with 10 to 15 years of history need to do such audits because they will find ways to improve. Time pressures, he said, are keeping firms from the most efficient use of digitizing.

Some firms will find they spend lots of time on social media without getting much benefit; others will find they have too much overlapping software.

“The first rule of software and programs is: Stop adding new programs until you assess what your current ones are allowing you to do,” Wenk said. “Software programs should not be duplicating each other. Adding new software programs does not necessarily mean you are gaining efficiency.”

Apps are available to help firms evaluate how their time is spent. “Once a firm reviews the information provided by these apps, it becomes obvious where time is being wasted,” he said. “Warren Buffett supposedly advised people to write down the 20 things that were important to them and then told them to circle the five that matter most. Everything other than those five are a distraction.”

Altruist was launched two years ago and now serves almost 1,700 firms, making it one of the fastest growing custodians over the last two years, Wenk claimed.

“Measuring your time and determining if processes are running as efficiently as possible is an evergreen project that should be carried out every quarter,” he said. “Advisors need to see what they could have done differently to service clients better and to serve more clients.”