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Uniting Accountants, Unleashing Opportunities

My ISCA Indonesia Chapter Journey

Taking on the role of ISCA Indonesia Chapter Chairperson in August 2023 felt like stepping onto a high-speed MRT train in a station bustling with possibilities. With Indonesia boasting a population of 287 million; 202,000 companies and 65 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hungry for accounting expertise, and only 1,500 public accountants and 33,000 registered accountants on deck, it was evident that we needed to bolster our ranks, and to do it quickly.

But accounting isn’t merely about crunching numbers, it’s about orchestrating a symphony of financial strategies. So I embarked on a mission to elevate the perception of accountants as mere number-crunchers to strategic business partners – a journey that has been both enlightening and exhilarating.

My first order of business was to work towards collaborating with the professional accounting bodies of Indonesia, that is, the Indonesia Institute of Accountants (IAI) and the Indonesia Institute of Public Accountants (IAPI). It was akin to orchestrating a complex ballet, but with financial statements instead of tutus. Together, we crafted initiatives in MOUs aimed at enriching our profession – from joint training programmes to knowledge-sharing forums and collaborative projects including joint membership and mutual recognition. We aim to be a formidable force, similar to a coalition of financial Avengers, each wielding a calculator as our signature “weapon”.

My dinner meeting with ISCA President Teo Ser Luck (second from left) and ISCA CEO Fann Kor (first from left) during their recent visit to Jakarta in January; also present was ISCA International Relations Officer Ms Ailyxandria Praditya
The London School of Accountancy and Finance is now ISCA’s Approved Learning Centre in Indonesia

Next was the honour of engaging the ISCA members working in Indonesia. We came together to network and brainstorm on how we can add value to the profession in Indonesia, covering the topics of forensic finance, sustainability, impact of technology and artificial intelligence – all at the dinner table. These conversations were injected with added excitement when ISCA President Teo Ser Luck and ISCA CEO Fann Kor paid a visit to Indonesia on January 22 and 23. The appointment of London School of Accountancy and Finance as an ISCA Approved Learning Centre in Indonesia was another milestone in my journey.

Shifting our focus to Indonesia’s economic landscape, the growth trajectory is nothing short of remarkable. With a GDP growth rate of 5.04% in 2023, Indonesia has emerged as a beacon of economic dynamism, attracting businesses seeking growth and prosperity.

But the story doesn’t end there. Indonesia’s digital economy is experiencing a meteoric rise, with over 200 million Internet users propelling it to new heights. Projections indicate that the digital economy could soar to US$130 billion by 2025, positioning Indonesia as a formidable player in the global tech arena.

However, doing business in Indonesia isn’t just about numbers, it’s about building relationships and understanding local customs. Cultivating strong interpersonal connections and respecting cultural nuances are essential for navigating Indonesia’s business landscape successfully.

Thus, my journey as the ISCA Indonesia Chapter Chairperson has been one of strategic collaboration, regulatory advocacy, and economic empowerment. From fostering partnerships to championing policies that foster growth and innovation, we are redefining the role of accountants as indispensable business partners in Indonesia’s journey towards prosperity.

To all aspiring professionals and astute investors, I extend an invitation to join us on this transformative journey, where opportunities abound, relationships thrive, and the horizon is limitless.

Manish Gidwani, ISCA Indonesia Chapter Chairperson, is CEO and Founder of London School of Accountancy and Finance.

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