Meet Namely: Aliya Bari

At Namely, our coworkers are one of the top reasons we love what we do. The Meet Namely series spotlights real Namely employees across the company. Read on to learn how our employees are helping us build better workplaces.

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Aliya Bari has been on the Namely team for two years, working as a Payroll Operations Solutions and Planning Manager. She started working in the payroll industry in 2010, so she had several years of experience before bringing her talents to Namely’s payroll team.


We sat down with Aliya to get to know more about her life at work and beyond. Here’s what she had to say:



Payroll is one of those incredibly important HR tasks that often happens behind-the-scenes. What’s your favorite thing about working in the payroll industry?

While some people are intimidated by the challenges of payroll, I love it. I genuinely enjoy keeping up with the ever-changing laws and regulations. For example, when New York implemented the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax (MCTMT), we had to restructure employees and clients into new tiers based on wages. Within these new classifications, we calculated the difference between previous and new rates to make sure all employees had been correctly taxed.


What can I say, I love being busy and the challenges of payroll drive me to grow personally and professionally!


What does your average work week look like?

As a Payroll Operations Solutions and Planning Manager (long title, I know) my job is essentially to work with client-facing teams to help build solutions to any problems in the payroll process. My role was designed to bridge the gap between operations and engineering, so I work closely with both teams.


I spend a lot of time working with compliance, implementation, and client success to help answer any urgent client questions. Sometimes I even work directly with clients to help them process complicated payrolls or show them how to use Namely for their company-specific payroll scenarios.


What’s one thing that would surprise people about payroll?

Because the field is so high-stakes, you have to be very detail-oriented. Even the smallest mistake (like a typo) can have big impacts down the line.


What did you do to celebrate National Payroll Week?

I participated in Namely’s Payroll Jeopardy, where the whole company was invited to watch and participate in answering questions about banking, forms, paychecks, and time management. I talked a big game about winning…and LOST. It was a good time though, and it was great to see everyone come out to celebrate our team’s hard work.


If you weren’t in payroll, what would you be doing and why?

I would try to make it big and become famous reality TV star! Just kidding...realistically I would be designing software or even fashion. Either way, I would definitely be designing something.


What’s your favorite part of working at Namely?

It’s impossible to limit myself to one thing! I love that I can fully be myself here and see my impact on the team and company. I genuinely like and care for everyone on my team and my coworkers across the company.


What’s your favorite office snack?

Anything with chocolate! Whenever there’s candy in the kitchen, I’m there.


Do you have any advice for someone who wants to do your job?

In payroll, no news is good news. Be prepared to hear about anything that is not working. At the end of the day, my job satisfaction comes once any process or system issues are resolved and improved upon—it’s both the stress of payroll and the reward.


What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?

Before going into payroll, I almost became a nurse, but I changed my mind after dissecting a few animals in nursing school. It made me sick to my stomach, and I just couldn't tolerate the sight, the tools, or the odor.


What do you like to do outside of work?

I love spending time on new activities that challenge me, especially things I couldn't do as a kid. My mom was very strict when I was growing up, particularly about what girls should and shouldn’t do. As a first-generation American, I tried to do “normal” kid things, like take gymnastics and read The Babysitter’s Club, but my mom set a lot of limits. Now that I’m an adult I try to do everything I missed—I’m into rock climbing at the moment.

Stay tuned for more from the Meet Namely series to learn how we put HR for humans into practice.