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No permits required by foreigners in start-ups

The omnibus bill on job creation would scrap requirements for foreign workers in start-ups to obtain written permits, a move seen by businesses as an effort to help bridge the country’s skills gap.

The sweeping bill states that foreign workers must get written permits except for members of boards of directors and commissioners, diplomatic and consular staff, those working at start-ups, in professional training, on business visits, doing research for a short period or doing machine maintenance for production in emergency situations.

A presidential regulation would be issued to regulate certain positions and service periods to be fulfilled by the foreign workers.

Meanwhile, the current Labor Law stipulates that only diplomatic and consular staff are exempted from getting the written permits.

“It’s OK to hire foreign workers,” Indonesia E-Commerce Association (idEA) chairman Ignatius Untung told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. “But instead of exempting them from acquiring a permit, the government can make the permit application easier.”

The government initiated the bill to cut regulatory red tape and ease business processes in the hope to attract more investment to jack up the country’s sluggish economic growth. If passed into law, the bill would amend more than 1,000 articles in some 80 prevailing laws.

Ignatius said easing foreign worker restrictions for the country’s start-ups could help Indonesia close its digital talent gap and encourage the transfer of knowledge. However, a permit was still needed to prevent foreign tech-savvy workers from flooding into the country and hampering the growth of local talent.

Indonesia’s digital economy is expected to reach US$130 billion in market value by 2025, triple the $40 billion valuation of 2019, with the e-commerce and ride-hailing sectors driving most of the growth, according to the 2019 e-Conomy SEA study conducted by United States technology giant Google, Singaporean holding company Temasek and management consulting firm Bain & Company.

The country itself has four unicorns, start-ups valued at more than $1 billion, out of 11 in Southeast Asia, the study revealed.

According to, a website that collects worldwide start-up data based on registration, Indonesia has the most start-ups in Southeast Asia with 2,192 as of February.

The government, Ignatius said, could partner with associations in determining what type of skills are still needed in the country and in issuing recommendations.

Ignatius added that Indonesia should let international universities open their branches in the country to educate future local data scientists and artificial intelligence (AI) engineers, among other professions.

Ease of hiring foreign labor in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2019.

Ease of hiring foreign labor in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019. (World Economic Forum/Global Competitiveness Report 2019)

“Instead of waiting for the Indonesian diaspora to come home, we should bring the lessons here,” Ignatius said. “That way, we get the skills and we can retain the human resources too.”

The McKinsey Global Institute and the World Bank projected Indonesia would see a shortage of 9 million skilled and semiskilled workers in the digital sector between 2015 and 2030.

According to a McKinsey & Company report titled Automation and the Future of Work in Indonesia, there will be 10 million jobs in new occupations that do not exist today by 2030. A projected 27 million to 40 million new jobs will be created in the same period if Indonesians learn new skills, versus the 23 million jobs that could be displaced by automation.

“The challenge is how to reskill at least 23 million people whose jobs are being replaced. Not to mention that in 2030, there will be 25 million new people entering the workforce,” McKinsey Indonesia managing partner Philia Wibowo said in an interview with the Post in September.

Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) vice chairwoman for international relations Shinta Kamdani expressed confidence that Indonesian start-ups did not solely rely on foreign talent in running their businesses, despite acknowledging that the country still needed assistance in filling the digital talent gap.

“All of Indonesia’s unicorns are local start-ups. So, there is no need to have negative assumptions about foreign workers” Shinta said. “What’s important is that start-ups can develop, and they can bring benefits to the country.”

She went on to say that partnerships between local start-ups and international entities often happened. The start-ups, she added, should not limit their collaboration only to other local organizations or businesses.

This article originally posted by Jakarta Post.

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Foreign investment in Indonesia’s e-commerce sector

To focus on the development of e-commerce potential of the country, the Indonesian government recently opened up the sector for foreign investment. In 2016, through the Presidential Decree No. 44/2016, Indonesia announced changes to its Negative List by removing the e-commerce industry from the list of prohibited sectors.

The updated list permits 100 percent foreign ownership of e-commerce businesses and companies approved by the country’s Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The caveat, however, is that the foreign e-commerce business must invest at least 100 billion IDR (US$6.67 million) in the business; or, create at least a 1,000 new employment positions for local workers through the foreign investment.

Investors that do not meet the threshold of US$6.67 million can opt for a joint venture with a local partner; investment below the IDR 100 billion levels is limited to a maximum 49 percent stake.

E-commerce businesses that can be fully (100 percent) owned by foreigners include the following:

  1. Reservation websites for services such as hotel or restaurants;
  2. Web portals that publish contents such as articles, audios, and videos using the content provided or made by the users; and
  3. Marketplace websites that enable the sellers to meet the buyers.

E-commerce businesses that cannot be fully owned by foreigners, and have a maximum permissible limit of 49 percent partnership include the following

  1. Content publishing websites made by the company itself;
  2. Marketplace websites with opportunities for the sellers to advertise their products or services.
  3. Distribution services websites that allow the company to deliver services.

The ease in regulatory environment sets out a strong foundation for the e-commerce industry in the country. It gives foreign companies with a low budget a chance to explore Indonesia’s local market and simultaneously helps domestic companies get access to foreign know-how in the sector.

The presence of liberal government legislation along with Indonesia’s evolving digital landscape offers businesses a unique opportunity to tap its growing e-commerce potential.

If you’re an investor or just starting to establish such business, you will need more to digital industry guidelines, business licensing and advising. Contact us for e-commerce and technology industry legal practice at +62 21 5082 0033 or mail to

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Inilah Perkembangan Startup di Indonesia Pada Tahun 2018 Menurut Para Investor


  • Dari tiga startup di Indonesia yang meraih predikat unicorn, GO-JEK, Tokopedia, dan Traveloka (GTT), para VC memprediksi di tahun 2018 tidak akan ada startup unicorn dari tanah air.
  • Kekurangan developer berkualitas masih menjadi salah satu isu bagi startup tanah air untuk bisa menjadi unicorn. 
  • Salah satu cara untuk bisa mengikuti kesuksesan GTT adalah dengan banyak-banyak belajar dari Cina.

Hingga saat ini, telah ada tiga startup tanah air yang berhasil menjadi unicorn, alias mempunyai valuasi di atas US$1 miliar (Rp13,5 triliun). Mereka adalah GO-JEK,Tokopedia, dan Traveloka, atau yang dikenal dengan istilah GTT. Pertanyaannya, bagaimana perkembangan startup tanah air di tahun 2018 nanti? Adakah startup yang akan bergabung dengan ketiga startup tersebut dan menjadi unicorn?

Sayangnya menurut Managing Partner dari East Ventures Willson Cuaca, tidak akan adastartup yang mendapat predikat unicorn pada tahun depan. “Ada gap yang cukup besar antara startup besar tersebut dengan para startup menengah di Indonesia,” ujarnya.

Vice President dari Sequoia Capital Pieter Kemps, juga berpendapat bahwa para startuptanah air masih butuh waktu untuk mengejar GO-JEK, Tokopedia, dan Traveloka. Namun hal ini bukan berarti perkembangan startup tanah air tengah “kering”.

Kita telah melihat gelombang pertama dari para startup yang berasal dari bisnis marketplace, transportasi, dan travel. Mereka telah mencuat ke permukaan dan sangat dominan saat ini. Namun banyak hal menarik yang akan terjadi setelah ini, akan ada gelombang kedua yang siap datang

 Pieter Kemps, Vice President Sequoia Capital

Menurut Kemps, hal ini sejalan dengan perkembangan startup yang terjadi di Cina. Sebelumnya, negara tirai bambu tersebut hanya mempunyai tiga startup yang begitu terkenal, yaitu Baidu, Alibaba, dan Tencent. Namun kini telah muncul para startup lain dengan valuasi di atas Rp135 triliun, seperti Toutiao, Meituan, dan Didi Chuxing.

Indonesia sendiri merupakan negara dengan banyak sekali masalah dan aktivitas yang kurang efisien, yang menanti untuk diselesaikan. Bisnis e-commerce yang saat ini telah begitu marak saja baru menguasai sekitar dua persen dari total transaksi retail.

“Ada sangat banyak hal yang salah di negeri ini, banyak masalah yang bisa diselesaikan,” tutur Willson.

Masalah kurangnya developer di Indonesia

Namun sebelum masuk ke gelombang atau siklus kedua, ekosistem startup di tanah air masih harus mengatasi salah satu masalah terbesar mereka, yaitu kurangnya developer lokal yang berkualitas. Baik Willson maupun Kemps pun mengamini masalah ini.

“Saya bisa katakan kualitas developer di Cina kini telah setara dengan Amerika Serikat, berbeda dengan kondisi di masa lalu. Banyaknya perusahaan yang ada, besarnya operasional mereka, serta semakin rumitnya masalah yang ingin mereka selesaikan, mengharuskan banyak inovasi. Di sini, hal tersebut masih merupakan tantangan,” jelas Kemps.

“Kami telah berbincang dengan para startup, baik yang besar maupun yang kecil. Banyak dari mereka yang mengatakan “kami telah bertemu dengan setiap developer bagus di tanah air, dan kami tidak bisa menemukan developer berkualitas lain”,” tutur Willson.

Untuk mengisi kekurangan talenta tersebut, banyak startup yang kemudian lebih memilih untuk merekrut pekerja asing. GO-JEK, yang merupakan salah satu portofolio dari Sequoia, saat ini telah membuat pusat pengembangan di Bangalore dan sebuah pusat data di Singapura.

“Dengan GO-JEK, kami banyak membantu mereka mencari developer dengan kemampuan tertentu, mengakuisisi beberapa perusahaan, serta membangun pusat pengembangan di Bangalore. Dengan Tokopedia pun sama. Kami terlibat banyak di awal perkembangan mereka, termasuk membantu mereka merekrut VP of Engineering,” ujar Kemps.

Founder startup tanah air harus belajar dari Cina


Hal lain yang bisa dilakukan para founder startup tanah air agar bisa lebih cepat mengejar GO-JEK, Tokopedia, dan Traveloka, adalah dengan banyak belajar dari para startup di Cina. Para investor bahkan menyarankan founder startup untuk terbang langsung ke negara tersebut, dan menimba ilmu dari para startup lokal di sana.

GO-JEK jelas mengambil contoh dari WeChat, yang berevolusi dari sebuah aplikasi chat menjadi sebuah platform e-commerce, game, hingga video. Saya berharap masuknya investor Cina seperti Alibaba ke Indonesia tidak hanya membawa dana segar, namun juga membawa teknologi dan ilmu,

 Grace Yun Xia, Principal Jungle Ventures

Menurut Principal dari Jungle Ventures Grace Yun Xia, aplikasi chat WeChat merupakan salah satu contoh model bisnis yang sukses di Cina dan bisa diterapkan di Indonesia.

“GO-JEK jelas mengambil contoh dari WeChat, yang berevolusi dari sebuah aplikasi chatmenjadi sebuah platform e-commercegame, hingga video. Saya berharap masuknya investor Cina seperti Alibaba ke Indonesia tidak hanya membawa dana segar, namun juga membawa teknologi dan ilmu,” pungkas Xia.


Sumber: Techinasia

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What CPAs Need to Know on Blockchain

By strict definition, blockchain is a global digital ledger of economic transactions that is transparent, continually updated by countless users, and considered by many as almost impossible to corrupt or hack.

But in the broader sense, blockchain is also a lightning rod for highly charged opinion, confusion, and even fear. Some argue that blockchain will completely transform finance, accounting, and auditing. Others are decidedly more circumspect regarding its impact. And a certain segment is nervous, not knowing whether blockchain will make portions of the accounting profession obsolete—perhaps large ones, specifically as it relates to the current audit and tax practices focusing on compliance.

“I don’t think it is going to cut our profession out,” L. Gary Boomer, CPA/CITP, CGMA, former CEO of Boomer Consulting, and now the company’s strategist and visionary, said in an interview. “But one of the things we have in our profession is the Rube Goldberg machine: A lot of processes that maybe don’t add value. If you’re not adding value, you’d better figure out how you’re going to provide value in the future.”

Boomer, covered a topic that might seem intimidating given that blockchain is not only new—less than 10 years old—but also enigmatic even for the most intelligent finance professionals. “There’s much of it that is different, complex, and hard to understand with current mindsets,” Boomer acknowledged.

There’s also the misconception that blockchain will smack the financial world with an immediate, tsunami-like force. “This is more of a transformation, and we are in the early stages of it,” Boomer noted. “So we need to know the right questions to ask: Where is this going to have the greatest impact on the accounting profession, and what is the timeline of that?”

As to the timeline part, blockchain’s ascent continues to accelerate. “No one was talking about it before 2008,” Boomer said. “Then in 2013 we started to see the rise of bitcoin, a blockchain consortium in 2015, and proof of concept in 2016.” He expects that blockchain may begin to replace legacy accounting systems around 2023, “and by 2025 it will be widely accepted.”

And insofar as the impact it will have, much depends on how finance professionals educate and position themselves during the run-up. Boomer stressed that once CPAs understand the basics of blockchain, they can move toward learning how to harness it. “It’s going to provide opportunities if we have the right mindsets, skill sets, and tool sets,” he said.

To that end, Boomer highlighted a number of crucial concepts that help explain blockchain and give insight into its value propositions for the accounting profession.

1. Blockchain is secure and immutable

“While everyone thinks of the internet as public, blockchain protects transactions and increases the security and privacy,” Boomer said. In theory it cannot be hacked because that would require overpowering all the computers that contribute to and update the ledger network—a feat akin to hijacking the entire internet.

2. Think of blockchain as the ‘internet of value’

As opposed to focusing on the exchange and transmission of information, the internet of value centers on transactions. That concept also gives a clue to where blockchain’s impact on accounting will be felt first.

Boomer related that “the big questions I always hear and that most practical CPAs have is, ‘What’s the killer app, and what’s going to happen first?’” He believes that the first movers will be in accounts payable and receivable, with either intercompany transactions or client-customer transactions. “It will verify the payment, the dates, and there will be no question that the buyer sent the payment. Buyer and seller have to collaborate, so as a result there’s no confusion. Blockchain is built on trust, and we need more trust in transactions.”

3. Blockchain data will create new business opportunities

Boomer noted that because the speed of transactions on blockchain is increased significantly, “this has value for the audit, which is typically performed months after the fact. It will be faster and cheaper, but I don’t think auditors should throw in the towel.”

Instead, they will need to develop a more datacentric approach. “They have to be more involved with the data and use it with a forward rather than historic perspective,” Boomer said. “The result is a higher-valued service.

4. Studying up on blockchain will pay off

Boomer contended that finance professionals must make time now to learn all they can about blockchain. He recommended Don and Alex Tapscott’s book Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World. Don Tapscott has also given a popular TED talk on the subject, now seen more than 1.6 million times. The Big Four accounting firms, he added, have also released white papers and studies on blockchain that are worth seeking out.

Accountants who get a grip on blockchain today will be the ones who successfully pivot their services tomorrow. “Banks are an incumbent that could lose business to blockchain, so they’re looking for ways to reduce the cost of their transactions and protect their turf,” Boomer said. “Accountants need to do the same—to not only protect the brand and its reputation, but look for ways to offer new services.”

In the meantime, take heart that many of your peers are still trying to fully wrap their heads around blockchain—including Boomer. “I’ve spent a ton of time studying blockchain the last three years, and it’s about getting connected to the right resources,” Boomer said. “We’re all learning. When you couple the blockchain with a cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, smart contracts, and robotics (automated processes), the possibilities increase exponentially.”

This article is originally posted and written by Lou Carlozo on Journal Accountancy.

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Tech-accountancy, It’s Happening

SKILLS IN TECHNOLOGY will be of vital important for accountants in the future, with the inexorable rise of digitization.

Four out of five (83%) accountants believe that understanding technology is as important to their job as understanding accountancy, according to a survey of 2,000 accounting professionals and SMEs by Xero.

Habits have changed since the arrival of cloud accounting tools, leading many professionals to consider data analysis and management consultancy as key service offerings they should provide. A broadening of skill-sets seems a vital strategy: 59% of the SMEs surveyed said they didn’t think they would need an accountant at all, in ten years’ time.

xero report 2

Gary Turner, managing director at Xero, said: “Moving to digital is inevitable, no industry is impervious to change, and the message has stayed the same. ‘Accountants and technology’ is not a new subject, and technology is now the front and centre of accountancy.”

Half (48%) of accounting professionals are taking internal courses and 26% are taking external courses to adapt to new tech, with some swotting up on business intelligence. A third of small business owners cited ‘technology competency’ as the most important skill in a business adviser. Some 71% of accountants consider automation to be crucial to their success over the next five years.

“As we head into a prolonged period of technological change in the next five years it’s encouraging that many accountants see being tech savvy as a key survival skill,” added Turner.

A further 60% of professionals are confident that they can adapt to change, but 22% feel it will be so great that they might need to leave the sector.

Paul Bulpitt, head of accounting at Xero, said: “It’s an expectation for people to do everything online, that has been the major shift in the past four to five years.”

Additionally, almost half, 43%, believe risk analysis will be required for success beyond 2025, and 27% for management consultancy. However, the report highlighted that most accountants are failing to invest time in education for them and their staff to adapt to new technologies.

Turner continued: “The survey suggested that the profession needs to work harder on investing in emerging technologies, and in more effectively persuading SMBs that a close working relationship with a financial professional which will be important in years to come.”

The skills small business owners consider to be most important in a business adviser are trust (55%), attention to detail (47%) and technical competence (31%).


This article cited from Tech as important as accountancy … for accountants.

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