The client on the phone had a desperate tone in his voice as he said he needed help. He said the CEO was breathing down his neck. His company had not seen a dime on two of their government incentives for the last few years. On the other end of the phone, Scott Nelson, a Big 6 government incentives consultant, had an “aha moment”.

He realized that there was a way better way to manage business compliance than by trying to use already thin internal operational teams and consultants to keep track of all these obligations — staff and consultants who misfiled things, missed filings altogether, relied on paper or spreadsheets, had a limited perspective on a birds eye view of the all the moving parts, and left the company to take other jobs. He thought of a way that would save clients huge amounts of money, create business continuity, and put the power of advanced analytics into their hands. Instead of throwing services at the problem again and again, clients could use robust compliance software as a more scalable way to meet their needs. Scott envisioned a SaaS platform that would bring cutting edge AI and automation to the small and medium-sized business (SMB) world, and a product that could scale up to meet the needs of the increasingly complex compliance environment.

Scott founded BIGcontrols, and got the ‘moneyball’ rolling for SMB compliance.

Government incentives are all over the news these days – particularly in the form of Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loans from the Federal government. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government authorized up to $659 billion under the CARES Act to help small businesses and other eligible organizations and individuals. President Trump has made it clear that he will continue supporting these government incentives to foster his political agenda.

In the early days before government incentives were a big part of government policy, and even before the Internet was widely used, Scott Nelson was living and breathing compliance on the front lines. As the field of incentives emerged in California, Scott was working on the government frontlines in creating incentives. At the California Trade and Commerce Agency, the lead economic development agency for the state, Scott leveraged incentives to attract companies to California in order to create new jobs, and to stimulate investment. He spent five years at the California Trade and Commerce Agency as the government incentives programs snowballed forward in terms of size and complexity. And with this growth came increased compliance to make sure the state was receiving the jobs and investment it was being promised in-kind. With this experience under his belt, he then moved to provide consulting on the corporate side. He led practices for both KPMG and Ernst & Young, building out and leading their respective West Coast teams.

As government incentives became more complicated, businesses, with their small internal teams who relied on Excel to store the data, faced a herculean task in responding to and executing on all the compliance obligations – not to mention the fact that spreadsheets are riddled with errors. They were forced to hire CPAs, attorneys, and teams of consultants who poured in extraordinary hours to shoulder the burden of researching, executing, reporting, and analyzing all the compliance requirements. As one of these consultants, Scott saw how both businesses and consultants struggled to keep up with the changing rules and regulations and the obligations that companies had to fulfill. He realized that trying to solve this problem with services over and over again was just not good enough. A scalable solution was required. Driven by entrepreneurship and his experience in both government and business, Scott started BIGcontrols. Those repetitive 12-hour days as a consultant paid off. He turned all that knowledge into a user-friendly compliance product that shrinks days of his past work down to a single click.