The rapid rise in importance of the role of the chief financial officer -- from back-office accountant to front-line executive -- is unrivaled by that of any other corporate position. With access to every facet of the business, CFOs now wield a level of influence matched only by chief executives. This book explains how CFOs earned their privileged status, and what the future may hold for them. It describes their ever-expanding role, and how they are reshaping their departments to help them deal with that transformation. Insights from current and former CFOs provide a first-hand perspective on finance leaders' aspirations and doubts. It is a useful reference for finance chiefs seeking to learn from peers and benchmark their own performance; for those looking to build a career in the C-Suite; for managers seeking to improve their relationship with the finance department; for service providers -- banks, accountancies and consulting firms -- and anyone else who wants to get on the good side of the keeper of the corporate checkbook.