The study of the modern economic history of Indonesia, covering the period from the beginning of the twentieth century until the present day, has so far been less systematic than what the available source material would permit. Indonesia is exceptionally well endowed with rich statistical sources, especially with regard to the late colonial period with the potential of supporting a rigorous and systematic quantitative approach to vital questions concerning long-run economic growth performance. The gap between current historiography and available sources needs to be bridged by an appropriate methodological framework and a rigorous analysis. Such a methodological framework is provided by the reconstruction of the national accounts of Indonesia. This paper discusses the case of the service sector in the reconstruction of the national accounts of Indonesia throughout the twentieth entury. Its aim is to explore methodological possibilities and bottlenecks with regard to the reconstruction of income generated by this important sector.