This comment clearly indicates a lack of understanding as to the value of peer review and of periodic attestations in general made on any system of quality controls or even financial data for that matter. What if this practitioner's clients came to him after he had completed the fifth year of financial statement audits and claimed that the bank/investors/stakeholders should no longer need annually audited financial statements since they had passed their audits the preceding five years. I presume the practitioner would see the fallacy of this argument and respond that the assurance provided by the opinion does not span past the financial statement date. Being a CPA and accepting membership in the AICPA implies that our work is of a higher level of quality. Therefore it is important that we continue to 'prove' that the system of quality controls that are in place within a firm are continuing to operate effectively to maintain the value associated with the services provided by members.
One other observation to draw from this is that the cost benefit analysis made by the practitioner misses the mark of what value a clean peer review report provides. I personally do not believe that mandatory peer review transparency is necessary. That is not based on the idea that firms should be allowed to hide deficient auditing, instead it is because I believe a market solution for transparency already exists. Firms that have clean opinions will want to advertise that fact to existing and prospective clients. All that we really need is an outreach campaign to let those receiving services from our fellow practitioners know to ask for a peer review report as part of the initial proposal. The peer review report should be something that a firm touts to all its clients. Firm's love to claim the high level quality of the services they provide. The peer review report backs up that claim. It should be viewed as a badge of honor and an excellent marketing piece instead of just another cost of complying with State Board and AICPA membership requirements.