Traditional roles are expanding into other areas of business.
When NZX-listed crime analysis software developer Wynyard Group went to market for a chief financial officer in late 2012, it was not looking for a bean-counter or a naysayer.
Late one night in Davos, Switzerland, Derek Handley found himself at a gathering in a private chalet. Across the room, Google's executive chairman, was talking animatedly with Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia.
"Half the room was people you would know, having drinks at 1am," Handley says.
Value creation rather than scorekeeping is the mission of today's corporate financial leaders, says Ramesh Karnani, a partner at Boston Consulting Group and topic leader of the "Office of the CFO" for Asia-Pacific.
That doesn't just require them to help executives, boards and business unit managers make effective decisions, it requires them to challenge decisions and in the end endorse them as well.
Telco network company Chorus may have spent two years challenging ruling by the Commerce Commission, but for another regulator, the Financial Markets Authority, it has become a role model - in financial reporting.
And the way the company's financial controller, Sharyn Mitchell tells it, it wasn't hugely difficult to produce accessible, readable and relevant financials.