I recently had the honor of speaking at AICPA/CPA.com’s Executive Roundtable, an invitation-only forum for the accounting industry’s top thought leaders to collaborate with cloud-application innovators and business leaders.

Over the course of our presentations and conversations, a trend became clear.

Not only are more CFO’s expanding their focus beyond the traditional limits of governance and regulatory requirements, adding significantly more value to their role by contributing as a strategic growth partner, and harnessing technology to do it; changing requirements from CEOs now mandate this.

In fact, I heard a new acronym for “CFO” that I thought particularly fitting of many of our cloud ERP software clients that truly captures the essence of the direction in which the industry is heading: Chief Future Officer.

If you’re a CFO who already understands how important your role in shaping your company’s future is and/or can be, the good news is you have support from the top. If not, here is some helpful information to consider for your organizational role moving forward.

In A View from the Top, a recent survey conducted by Forbes Insights and KPMG consisting of CEOs from more than 500 high-performing organizations, 63 percent stated they believe the CFO's role will increase in significance over the next three years, as compared with other C-suite roles.

CEOs are challenging their CFO to think differently, display stronger leadership capabilities and to see and act upon their vision of the big picture in order to achieve corporate goals.

In response, today’s CFO is managing an environment of expanding complexity. This CFO is thinking and operating globally, leveraging financial data and analytics real-time, challenging and implementing business strategies and staying ahead of changing regulatory environments—all with the ever-present priority of achieving a competitive advantage.

Successful CFOs are looking beyond their traditional finance role to become insightful business partners, dramatically increasing the value they contribute to the business.

How can a CFO fill these new shoes to become more strategic, more insightful, and more valuable?

Visibility. Visibility into the health of the organization, past and evolving trends, and hidden revenue leaks is the key to succeeding as this new age CFO.

A View from the Top found CEOs are confident data and analytics will increasingly drive strategy and profits for their business, a concept with which progressive CFOs have no doubt seen evolving for some time. Eighty-five percent of the CEOs surveyed say applying financial data to achieve profitable growth is the greatest strategic value a CFO can bring to an organization.

This financial visibility empowers CFOs to get ahead of the growth curve by providing a clear picture for recognizing opportunities from which to benefit. Whether a company sells products or services, real-time access to leadership information is critical for business agility and decision making.

Easy identification of high performance areas coupled with access to rich reporting and analytics helps leaders quickly identify and share best practices, providing a solid foundation for performance improvement across the organization.

Customized dashboards provide performance visibility by location or location groups, by lines of business, or any other metrics. This visibility allows CFOs to compare financial performance and operational ratios to make better, more informed decisions.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as cash flow, customer statistics, and revenue forecasts empower key stakeholders to work as a team to maintain a healthy business at the least, and transform an organization at the most.

Today’s CFO must be able to move quickly and make faster, more educated decisions. The more reliable the data and visibility, the faster the move toward bigger growth.

Visibility in the hands of the modern CFO is what can make a good business great.